Letter: Reject The Gag Rule

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Every day, Planned Parenthood provides essential sexual and reproductive health care such as cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, abortion, annual exams and more.

Right now, we’re seeing unprecedented attacks on our health across the country. In early 2019, we’ve seen 26 state abortion bans enacted. Anti-reproductive health politicians are attacking from all angles—including blocking access to affordable birth control and preventive services by enacting a “Gag” Rule on the Title X program.

The “Gag Rule” is absurd. It restricts health care centers who receive Title X from providing abortion services and prevents them from also making abortion referrals to their patients. In just Nassau County, Planned Parenthood has cared for 14,398 patients in 2018. Planned Parenthood centers throughout the U.S. have provided preventive health care to 2.4 million individuals, including STI testing, birth control and cancer screenings. If the “Gag” rule remains in effect, that jeopardizes access to care those millions of patients and would result in a public health crisis.

For example, according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America 4,712,985 STI testing and treatments are provided annually across the country. If these services are no longer accessible, then transmission rates of sexual transmitted infections will increase. We’re already seeing this in other states where reproductive healthcare access has been restricted. One example is Missouri, where congenital syphilis is at its highest rate in nearly two decades. The “Gag” rule is a threat to public health, and it’s just one part of a coordinated strategy by anti-abortion extremists to close Planned Parenthood’s doors.

There is no reproductive health care without the right to access it. I urge you to call your representatives to tell them you are against the “Gag” rule.

—Sherene Lambert


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